October continues streak of above-normal temperatures

November 4, 2012

Even with its historic storm, its high wind, its record rain and its disruption of daily life, October in Washington was like every previous month this year, in at least one way.

It was warmer than normal. October’s average temperature at Reagan National Airport was 61 degrees, 1.5 degrees above normal. It meant that every month so far this year, as recorded at National, has been warmer than the norm.

In another indication of how October adhered to meteorological precedent, it was also the 12th consecutive month of above-normal temperatures at Reagan, following a pattern that began last year.

But much that occurred in October in Washington strayed far from weather precedent. On Oct. 29, as Sandy struck, Washington set a rainfall record for the date.

The total at National was 3.85 inches, swamping the old record, 2.69 inches, which was set 127 years ago.

Dulles also set a record, with 4.25 inches. But Baltimore’s rainfall outstripped them both.

It was 5.51 inches, making Oct. 29 Baltimore’s wettest October day, the National Weather Service said. The old October record was 4.38 inches, set in 1922.

It was also windy in the Washington region. National recorded a gust of 61 mph, Dulles 54 mph and Baltimore 60 mph.

And although October was warmer than average, every day since Hurricane Sandy has been cooler than average. Since Oct. 29, the days have seemed to turn wintry, with gray skies and a chill in the air.

At National, every day this month has been six degrees cooler than normal.

The last three days of October were also cooler than normal. On Oct. 30, the high temperature was only 46 degrees, 18 degrees below the normal high.

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